The SF Giants sent down a pair of rookies in Kyle Harrison and Casey Schmitt on Friday. In corresponding moves, Michael Conforto (hamstring) and Ross Stripling (back) were activated from the injured list according to the team's transaction page.
SF Giants send down a pair of rookies as roster returns to full strength
The Giants expected Conforto to return this series, so a move was needed. They could have went with someone like Paul DeJong, but DeJong remains the best defensive shortstop they currently have. For a team that cannot get any offense from that position, having a strong glove is the next best thing.
The good news is that Luis Matos remained with the club, which seemingly solidified his role on this year's team. He could have been an option to be sent back down, but his bat has really come around lately.
These are tough moves because you want to see the Giants commit to the youth movement. That said, they are still competing for a playoff spot, so they likely see the veteran players as ones who can have an impact.
Harrison showed flashes of effectiveness in his first big league action, posting a 5.28 ERA with 29 strikeouts with eight walks across 24.1 innings. The Giants are encouraged by his improved control, but he did allow seven home runs as well.
In fairness to the 22-year-old lefty, they were asking him to pitch deeper into games than he had all year. His pitch count reached 80 or more pitches in four of five starts, but rarely did he do that this year in Triple-A.
On the other hand, Schmitt returns to Triple-A as well. This might be a good move for him as he will get regular at-bats before the season comes to an end. The rookie infielder has posted a .553 OPS with three home runs in 271 plate appearances for the Giants this year. The overall numbers do not look great, but he had shown improvements at the plate lately.
The Giants could use Michael Conforto's bat back in the lineup. He is slashing .251/.343/.405 (106 OPS+) with 15 home runs, 55 RBI, and 55 runs in 426 plate appearances this season. Conforto was really seeing the ball well before landing on the injured list.
Lastly, Ross Stripling returns after an extended absence. He had been in limbo recently as he was ready to return, but there was not an obvious spot for him on the roster. He has struggled to the tune of a 5.29 ERA in 78.1 frames in his first season with the Giants.
For the most part, the Giants are at full strength. They have not been able to say that all that often this season.